Paris's Eiffel Tower is to stay closed to the public until further notice, operators have announced, with government restrictions easing more gradually than expected after the second Covid-19 lockdown ended on Tuesday.
"The Eiffel Tower is postponing its reopening to the public until a later date, which we will communicate to you as soon as possible," said an announcement on its Facebook.
According to a statement on its Twitter account, "Visitors who pre-purchased tickets for visits between 16 December and 6 January 2021 will be reimbursed early next week."
Paris' top tourist landmark has been closed since 30 October, but was scheduled to reopen when France's second Covid-19 lockdown ended on 15 December – coincidentally the birthday of the engineer who designed and oversaw construction of the tower, Gustave Eiffel.
But the government announced that the lifting of the restrictions would be more gradual than expected, with museums, theatres and cinemas to remain closed for three more weeks.
The Covid-19 pandemic resulted in the attendance at the Eiffel Tower to fall by around 80 percent compared to 2019.
According to Jean-François Martins, president of the Eiffel Tower Operating Company (Sete), before the second lockdown, the monument received "2,500 visitors per day when it could accommodate up to 25,000".
This was due to the sanitary measures like social distancing that meant the elevators were only half-filled, and the night curfew that preceded the second lockdown had meant earlier closure.